First Sony Blu-Ray Player Due in July

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Electronics giant Sony plans to begin selling its $1,000 BDP-S1 Blu-Ray disc player in July 2006, with Blu-ray equipped desktop and notebook computers becoming available about the same time. According to Sony, customers can begin pre-ordering the units through SonyStyle.com and other Internet retailers (Best Buy, Circuit City, Amazon.com, and others) beginning today.

Although Sony’s the leader of the Blu-ray camp of next-generation DVD device manufacturers, its player will not be the first Blu-ray consumer device to market: that distinction goes to Samsung, whose BD-P1000 Blu-Ray player is scheduled to go on sale May 23, 2006, also for about $1,000. May 23 is the same day Sony plans to release eight Blu-ray movie titles, which Sony said in February would include 50 First Dates and Hitch. Sony plans to release eight more Blu-Ray titles in June, and release a total of 100 films in Blu-Ray format by the end of 2006.